Illinois Amish

The Illinois Amish population is dominated by the Arthur community

illinois amish mapThe Amish community near Arthur and Arcola is the largest in Illinois, with a population of around 4,000 Amish.  Other Amish settlements are found across the state, particularly in the southern and western regions. The Illinois Amish population was over 7,500 as of 2021, spread over 19 communities and 58 church districts (Young Center 2021). Updated May 2022

The Arthur Amish

The Arthur Amish community is the largest and by far the oldest Amish settlement in Illinois, founded over 150 years ago.  The settlement is centered around Arthur, a small town of around 2,000 souls.

illinois amish
An Amish buggy races across the sun outside Arthur, Illinois

Amish homes are located in both Moultrie and Douglas counties (the county line bisects the town) as well as a few in Coles County to the south. Amish homes and farms extend in all directions, as far east as near Arcola, towards Sullivan, the seat of Moultrie County, in the southwest, and to highway 36 to the north.

The Arthur community was founded in 1864, by Amish from communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa (see A History of the Amish, Steven Nolt p 232-3).  The Arthur Amish were not the first Amish community in Illinois, however, with two settlements having been founded in the central part of the state in the 1830s.  But the Arthur community was destined to grow and ultimately survive, while the others eventually disappeared.

The Arthur Amish community has grown to 30 church districts as of 2021 (see Young Center, 2021), comprising well over half the Amish population in Illinois.

An Amish couple with children on bicycles
Bicycling is popular among Amish on the flat roads in the Arthur community area

While Arthur Amish do not face quite the same external population pressures as Amish settlements in the east, farmland is still quite expensive, a factor that has affected occupational patterns in the community.  Nonetheless, numerous Amish at Arthur do maintain traditional dairy farms.

The terrain of the Arthur community is buggy-friendly, generally very flat and with paved roads.  Common names in the Arthur community are Miller, Kauffman, Gingerich, and Schrock.  Less-common names seen here include Jess, Otto, Diener, and Rocke.

While agriculture remains fairly common, Amish at Arthur work in a number of other trades.  Some work for large overhead door manufacturer C.H.I. and can be seen bicycling to and from work at the local plant.  Other Amish in the Arthur community are known for their small business activity, in particular furniture and wood-related enterprises.

Amish business at Arthur

Arthur is home to a thriving Amish business community, with many Amish operating businesses in wood-related industries.

Beachy's Bulk Foods store sign
Beachy’s Bulk Foods is one of a large number of home enterprises in the Arthur, IL Amish settlement

Lower-end wood businesses are found at Arthur, such as pallet makers.  More frequently seen are higher-end operations producing cabinets and furniture.  These number in the dozens and employ hundreds of Amish males throughout the community.  Arthur furniture businesses attract consumer attention from urban areas such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, all within a three-hour drive.  Find an Illinois Amish furniture business.

In addition to furniture, a number of other Amish-operated businesses can be found. One Amish family operates a jelly-making and canning business. Another runs a small bookstore catering to the Plain community. Machine, metal, and engine shops are also found throughout the Arthur settlement, as are construction businesses.

Tourism at Arthur

As one of the largest Amish communities in the Midwest, Arthur has a fairly developed tourist industry, welcoming visitors from across the region.  Additionally, the area is home to the Illinois Amish Heritage Center found at Arcola, which specializes in educating the public about the Amish and Anabaptist peoples. The Center features buildings important to Illinois Amish history, including two of the oldest historic Amish homes in the state, restored and preserved at the Center.

illinois amish pony cart
An Illinois Amish family traveling by pony cart

At least one Amish family in the Arthur community hosts non-Amish visitors for meals and overnight stays. Rockome Gardens was once a longstanding tourist destination located in the community. Rockome featured “rock gardens” comprised of numerous rock formations and stone fences, as well as a number of other attractions. However, Rockome closed operations in the 2010s.

Other Illinois Amish settlements

While Arthur is by far the largest Amish community in Illinois, there are numerous other small Amish settlements found throughout the state.

After Arthur, the next oldest Illinois Amish community is located at Mt. Vernon in Jefferson County—founded over 120 years after Arthur, in 1987. Ava is the site of the state’s largest Amish community, at four church districts in size.

Amish jams and jellies business
Millers Country Crafts is an Amish-owned business in the Ava settlement in southern Illinois

The community at Macomb in McDonough County in western Illinois at one time had 3 districts but later shrunk to 2.  This community is more conservative than the Arthur Amish.

Most other Amish communities in Illinois can be found in the western and southern portions of the state.  Amish are found in Crawford County, home to 3 settlements, Jackson, and Wayne Counties (home to 2 settlements each), and a number of others.

None of the other Illinois Amish communities exceeded 2 church districts (meaning roughly 300 baptized and unbaptized individuals) as of 2008 (Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, Luthy).

Historical Amish settlements in Illinois

A number of Amish settlements which once existed in Illinois no longer do today.  A few were of significant size.

The community in Tazewell and Woodford was formed in 1831, in large part by direct immigrants from Lorraine in France.   Over the next 20 years, around 130 Amish families moved to the area, and by the early 1850s, five congregations had been formed.  Amish historian David Luthy tells us that at by this time, the Tazewell/Woodford settlement was larger than the Lancaster County settlement, and equal to or larger in size than the community at Holmes County, which had been founded over 20 years before the Tazewell/Woodford community (Settlements that Failed, Luthy pp 75-80).

Eventually Amish in this community were influenced by progressive movements which were in the ascendant in America at the time.  Amish in the area began to build meetinghouses, typically a key step in the journey from a traditional to progressive alignment.

arthur illinois amish
An Illinois Amish farmer hard at work

Many Amish at Tazewell and Woodford Counties eventually formed the “Western District Amish Mennonite Conference” in 1884.  Some congregants in this community also joined other movements, including the “Egly Amish” and the “Stuckey Amish” groups.

At the time, many other Amish settlements which were affected by progressive change (such as the Kalona, Iowa Amish, or Elkhart/Lagrange County community in Indiana) formed an Old Order element as well, which kept to traditional practices and beliefs.  Such was not the case with the Tazewell and Woodford County settlement, which is why no Old Order Amish are found today at what was once one of the largest Amish communities in North America.  As a result, Luthy notes that many Amish surnames found in this community are unseen anywhere among Amish today, such as Yordy, Roggy, Litwiller, and Klopfenstein (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, p. 80-81).

Another Amish community was founded in 1835 in Bureau and Putnam Counties, also in north-central Illinois.  In a sense, this community followed a similar progressive path as that of the settlement at Tazewell and Woodford Counties, with member eventually joining the Western District Amish Mennonite Conference mentioned above.

Further failed settlements were found at Prairie Bird in Shelby County (lasting from 1871 to 1884), and Vandalia in Fayette County (1893-1906) (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, pp. 81-91)

Illinois attracting new Amish settlement

Illinois is a state with a long history of Amish settlement, today represented primarily in the sizeable Arthur community.  Though Arthur is by far the largest Illinois Amish community, Amish have been attracted to settle in other areas of the state.

However, while over the past decade, the Amish population has grown, it has done so at a slower rate than typical for the Amish (the Amish population increased by only about 500 individuals since 2010). This is likely due to out-migration to other states, with some Illinois communities having ceased to exist since 2010.

This is in contrast to the prior 20-year period, when it was listed as a “High Growth State” by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies for the time span 1991-2010, when the Amish population increased by 133% due in part to in-migration from communities outside the state. The community in Saline County, for instance, originates from a Wisconsin Amish settlement.

Amish buggy on asphalt road
Amish buggies have been an increasingly common sight on the road in some parts of Illinois, while they’ve disappeared from others

For more information, see:

A History of the Amish, Steven Nolt

The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960, David Luthy

“Amish Population in the United States by State and County, 2021” (

“Amish Population, 2021” Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College (

Photo credits: buggy in sun-Walter Blackledge; Amish couple bicyling- S.I.; pony cart-Walter Blackledge;  Amish farmer in fields-Walter Blackledge; Millers Country Crafts- Don Burke; Amish buggy – S.I.

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    1. Alice Aber

      Excellent information, loved this article!! Thanks so much!!

    2. Amy Jo

      (Before I forget – Erik, do you know the name or current location of the bookstore mentioned – I’d like to visit?)
      Yes, excellent! I am curious to find so much to read and study about – and maybe an extra visit… one thing of note – last year (or early in 2010, I can’t remember), Rockome Gardens again changed hands. I canot remember the details (didn’t know many anyway but can’t remember names just now)but, the Amish Interpretive Center was moved from Arcola to Rockome Gardens. This may be convenient for those going to Rockome but, I miss its convenience to I57 and US45. I think Arcola misses the people it brought to places like the Dutch Kitchen, the Daily Kneads Cafe, and the little unique shops in the downtown area especially with the leaving of the Anne and Andy museum too (they still celebrate Broom Corn Festival). I stumbled across this change when I took my husband to see the Interpretive Center and there were carpenters taking it apart! (some were Amish) Thankfully, they allowed us to look through a little so my husband had some exposure – it created so many questions and some I couldn’t answer. A couple of Amish ladies recently (past couple of years or so) opened a little ice cream/dessert/coffee/sandwich (it grew, can you tell) shop right on rt33 as you come into Arthur from the east that is very popuar. Ok, enuf! Now, on to more education on the historical info. thanks again Erik!

    3. Amy Jo

      oops, that little shop is on US rout 133 that goes into Arthur…

    4. Alice, my pleasure! Thanks for suggesting I do Illinois next 🙂

    5. Arthur Illinois Amish bookstore

      Amy Jo, thanks for the question and letting know about the Interpretive Center moving to Rockome, I did not realize that. And I will need to visit the Amish ladies’ ice cream shop when I’m next in the area. Will be looking forward to that trip.

      As for the bookstore, I wish I had the exact coordinates–I can tell you that it is on an east-west road south of Arthur and on the Douglas county side (ie, the south east “quadrant” if you look at a map with Arthur in the middle). The shop is on one of those roads not far out of town, I think it can’t be more than a couple miles (assuming it hadn’t moved in the meantime). I believe it is on the south side of the road. I wish I could remember the name, and I don’t have my directory with me at the moment unfortunately, which might help.

    6. Illinois Amish dry goods and book store

      Amy Jo, you’ve also got Clearview Fabrics and Books, which is not the one I was talking about but is about a mile or so northeast of town, I believe this is an Amish place as well.

      The address is:

      178 E Cr 500 N
      Arthur, IL 61911-6262, United States
      (217) 543-9091

      You can probably ask at Clearview about the locations of other stores as well. Arthur area is pretty easy to get around with its mostly grid roads.

      On that note I am going to have a proper business directory for each one of these state entries but have not gotten around to it yet!

    7. Wow, that was a great article – I didn’t know there were so many. I’ve been to the Arthur/Arcola area and what I remember is it’s very flat and the roads were all grid-like (like tic-tac-toe). When we were there, a big semi was going through town and got stuck under a traffic light or something. Let me tell you, that caused quite the excitement – LOL. EVERYBODY came out to just look at it. And the ice cream/sno cone stand was the big hang-out which was actually really cute. Now I want to go back there! It’s only about 2-1/2 hrs. from St. Louis so someday soon…

    8. Amy Jo

      Thanks Erik… I think I know the area you are talking about for the bookstore – I’ll have to explore a bit. May be somewhere near Miller’s Dry goods – I hear one of the family members there either is very il or may have passed. It is still open but I am not sure how it is doing. i have purchase material there and also at Clearview. Actually I have purchased books and cards at Clearview and at Miller’s. My first visit to Clearview was not too long ago actually – didn’t know it was there until I asked at the place we had our kitchen cabinet doors made… and asked the casket maker’s (Obie Obadiah Helmuth) wife when I was visiting him about making a casket for me. Of course the Family Health Food store (can’t remember the name) which is about 1/4-1/2 mi so of 133 on the county line (Doug/Moultrie) is a great place for all things vitamin/supplement as well as organic foods and some kitchen stuff and books/cards… very helpful there – as most places. There is a great book written by a Champaign newspaper journalist about the Arthur Amish. I thought she did a great job and had good photography as well. I think, also, the Beil (?) gentleman has done well with his photography/book of the area and I think you have had some of his work on this site too. Ok, too wordy (and, you can probably tell I am also the ‘Amy’ from IL… the one that is too wordy)… need to clean the gutters. Keep up the great work here!

    9. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I like bikes. Locally the bike trailers I’ve seen don’t look as substantial as theirs.

    10. Marcus Yoder

      Great article. My gg grandfather was one of the first amish to settle in Arthur. I have many amish cousin’s still living in the Arthur area.

    11. Marcus–appreciate it, and especially nice to hear from someone with roots in the community. I have many fond memories of Arthur.

    12. Beth, thank you very much, and you are right mostly grid roads out in Arthur. Much easier for me to avoid getting lost than in a place like Holmes County, which is the opposite story 😉

    13. Amy Jo, always great to read your comments, and don’t every worry about being wordy 🙂 And hope you’ll let us know if you track down the bookstore!

    14. Adam

      I am aware that some Amish communities are renown for making corn brooms. Does the Amish community in Arthur make corn brooms for the Libman broom company in neighboring Arcola?

    15. Adam, a good question on the corn brooms. I don’t have an answer at hand but maybe someone reading this does?

    16. Terry Woodson

      looking for amish made kitchen cabinets

      any help would be greatly appreciated ph 309-675-2316
      address 2002 Ellorly rd Peoria illinois 61604

    17. Terry Woodson

      amish cabinets

      sorry wrong ph no 309-673-2316

    18. Alice Aber

      Amish Cabinets - Terry

      Terry,,,, being in Peoria you might want to google “Amish Cabinet Makers in Illinois”. I believe there are cabinet makers in both Arthur and Arcola, IL Amish communities. The other search you could do would be just “Arthur, IL” as I believe they have a list of the Amish businesses down there and that would give you some good leads.

      Blessings, Alice

    19. Sally

      Amish Cabinets...

      …. 1 1/2 hours north of Peoria, IL near Tampico, IL you will find
      Amish furniture, market, etc.

    20. Amy Jo

      Cabinets and Brooms

      Terry, My husband and I had an amish Arthur cabinet maker make our cabinet doors (we refaced our existing cabinets but had new doors put on)about two or three years ago. The business is Rocky Lane Woodworking, Willard & Rosanna Schrock, 55E CR 300N, Arthur, IL 61911, 217-543-2160. He is one of many competent cabinet makers in and around Arthur.
      Adam, I have not known any Amish to work at Libman’s or Monohan’s (the other broom factory in Arcola) but I would not be surprised. there is a very large amount of Mexican’s employed at Libman’s though. Most of the Mexican population in the Arcola area come from the same area in Mexico.
      Truly, little Douglas County Illinois is quite the diverse, interesting place!

    21. Joanne Carlson

      Illinois Amish

      Very good article. I’ve recently found Amish stores in Cuba, Il. (two of them in fact) and near Roseville, Il. I’m now looking for one I heard that was in Tampico, Il. I can find things at these stores I can’t find anywhere else. My favorites are in Kalona, Iowa, and Shipshewana, Ind., also Washington Co., Ind. Thanks

      1. Jenna B

        The people in Roseville you are talking about are Mennonite, not Amish. I do business with them. They live 4 miles from my house.

        1. Michael J Setser

          I believe the store on route 116 just east of US 67 is Amish. Further down the road the same family also have a furniture shop. All custom made.
          The store leases trees from my wifes family for syrup making. The also contracted to build an out building and small bridges for my father in law. Wonderful people at the scratch and dent store.

        2. Hello


          There is an independent Amish community in Roseville as well.

      2. Walnut trees for the taking

        Hello I sell solar power. A customer of mine is looking to have several large walnut trees removed from his property in Oregon, IL. He hopes to find someone to take then down for free in exchange for the wood. Call me at 312-933-8226 or email me at

    22. Stephanie Deterding

      looking for goats whey

      i have looked on a lot of website for goats whey with low sodium & very low sugar But high protein…..i found some on a Amish website in Florida but they were a club & you had to be in the Florida area..I am in southern Il….would appreciate any help
      thank you

    23. dave Prasse

      Amish furniture in Tampico,IL area

      Martins woodworking
      4199 Hickory Hills Rd
      Tampico , IL 61283
      815 438 4135

      Great folks !

    24. Amish Stores

      hello, I recently moved to Souther Illinois (Marion area) and I am looking for an Amish store in the area! any and all help would be appreciated. i love shopping at their stores for bulk supplies and other unique items! We were very spoiled as we lived in Reading Pennsylvania for 10 years and had lots of access to many, many Amish and Mennonite businesses int he area! Thanks

      1. margie griffin

        amish store and amish cabinet cleaning soap

        If you are in southern illinois in Opdyke Ill malinda mast has country store and her phone number is 618-756-2250 she can usually order you something if you dont see it in her store. excellent place to get baking supplies, flours, wheat berries etc. very nice family store you will enjoy.

    25. Linda

      Tzigane, Using the store locator at, the first two stores are within 50 miles of Marion, Illinois, plus more stores are between 50-100 miles away. You may want to phone to verify the information. These bulk food stores are not all Amish.

      1015 WEAVER LN
      DONGOLA, IL 62926

      213 FOSS RD
      AVA, IL 62907

      71 COMMERCE ST
      HICKORY, KY 42051

      1088 ST RT 97
      MAYFIELD, KY 42066

      5200 HIGHWAY D
      FARMINGTON, MO 63640

      RR 1, BOX 158 AA
      ST. PETER, IL 62880

      12040 S. MADISONVILLE RD
      CROFTON, KY 42217

      1. margie griffin

        and Mast Family Country Store in Opdyke Illinois on Lighthouse Lane phone number is 618-756-2250.

    26. I come from the Tampico Illinois (black car) Amish Mennonite community. I am doing a series of video in Pennsylvania Dutch.
      This one is from my farm and as you will see they use modern machinery.

    27. Sandra Barthmaier


      I own a home in southeastern PA, that has Amish made cabinets installed in the early 1950’s. I just came across the original cleaning instructions, and it recommends Johnson’s Cream cleaner. Is there anyway of finding this product, or a similar? I am only assuming that it was an Amish made product, and do apologize if I assumed incorrectly.

      1. Sandra Barthmaier

        I meant the cleaner only, as I know the cabinets were certainly Amish built.

        1. margie griffin

          Mr. Simon Yoder of Mt. Vernon Illinois phone 618-214-9782 is amish and said they use a product called KLEENS ALL on their cabinetry and he can get you some if you would like. Mr. Yoder also has a very nice green house selling plants every spring on Log Cabin Road in Mt. Vernon that you may like also.

          1. Sandra


            Margie, thank you so much for the information. I am definetely going to look into each of them. Thanks again, Sandra

    28. Greg

      Amusing dilemma

      I posted this here only because it has to do with a family who are OOA members in the Arthur area. Earlier today I called a family on their phone shanty telephone. I hadn’t previously saved it into my cell contacts so I went to do this. When it came time to put it in a category ie: Home or Work, I actually had a moment of hesitation and thought hmm, which one?? It was located in a phone shanty….They do have a greenhouse business though but I decided to put it in the Home category. I amused myself though.

      1. There needs to be a third option of “Shanty” Greg 🙂

    29. Question about


      I have a question for you. I found this comment in the article: “At least one Amish family in the Arthur community hosts non-Amish visitors for meals and overnight stays.”

      Do you have any information as to whether that is still the case, and if so, any contact information? My husband and I are planning a visit to Arthur next weekend and have tried to find that type of lodging, with no success. We have had the privilege of staying in Amish homes in Ohio and Pennsylvania and would love the chance to do the same in Arthur. I would certainly appreciate any information you might have.

      1. Pam I just sent you an email on this.

        1. Karen Benjamin

          Meal in an Amish home

          Hello, I am a member of a sorority which studies various cultures; we would like to return to the Arthur area to experience a meal in an Amish home; the last time we did this we visited Mrs. Miller’s home and understand this is no longer an option. I read of a family serving meals; can you please direct me in finding them? Thanks, Karen

        2. Frances Web

          Amish stay

          I am also interested in the Amish family that hosts overnight stays. My husband and I are looking for a little getaway and this would be ideal. I would appreciate if you could send me the information as well.

        3. Joann Bentson

          nights and meals

          I would also like information on homes that offer their home for the night and also meals.

          thank you

    30. Alicai

      St. Peter/Vandalia Area Mennonite

      Is there a list of Amish Mennonite stores that are open in St. Peter area other than Zimmerman’s Greenhouse and the General store? I can’t seem to find a link and map that they used to have at the Vandalia Tourism Center. Any help is appreciated as I’m going there Saturday 5-11-13 from St. Louis. Thanks.

    31. heather M

      amish around salem?

      My husbands friend said he got home school books from the amish and other good around salem illinois.
      Do you happen to know of any around here?

    32. Paula Mann

      Vandalia IL

      I know there are Old Order Mennonites at Vandalia because a friend of ours drives bus loads of Old Order people from PA to IL for weddings and funerals. I will see if they can tell me anything. We have visited a church east of Mount Vernon (further south) but one of the ladies there told me if you want “plain shopping” you mostly have to go to Arthur, IL.
      We are moving to the Metro East area of IL, NE of St. Louis for a job transfer and sure wish there were more plain people closer. Church will be 100 mile drive for us probably.

      1. Paula Mann

        Reply to Alicai - Vandalia area

        If you contact the Tourism office in Vandalia, they have a brochure “Dutch Prairie Mennonite Shops” which they sent me. 24 shops and produce sellers who are 7 mi. south of Vandalia, and east of Hwy 51 in the Vernon/Shobonier/Augsburg/area most of them south of Zimmerman’s greenhouse. My next trip to IL, I plan to check this out. There is a nice assortment of businesses. There is another little town I was told about with shops, I think it was Campbell Hill, IL. If that is correct, it is southeast of Sparta along Route 4, and northwest of Carbondale.

        City of Vandalia
        Tourism Office
        431 West Gallatin St.
        Vandalia, IL 62471-2760
        phone 618-283-2728

        I hope this information is helpful.

    33. Sue

      Arthur Amish

      In a comment from March it was mentioned that there is an Amish family that hosts overnight stays along with meals. I have been going to Arthur since I was a little girl and would love to stay with an Amish family. I have eaten at several homes but was not aware of anyone offering to let you stay overnight. I would appreciate if you could send me information on this.

    34. Nate

      Amish Built Barns

      I am looking to have a barn built in Northern Illinois (DeKalb area), and I am very interested in having the Amish build this barn. Does anyone have any suggestions as to whom I can contact within the Arthur Amish community or another Amish community in Northern Illinois?

      Thank you for your help!


    35. Gail will


      Does anyone know if the Furniture store in Arthur makes bedroom suits? I am thinking of buying a birch wood one from but if I can get one here in my own state and help my own Amish folks, I would do that. No I am not Amish but I respect and admire the heck out of them!

      Also, about the custom quilting, how does that work? Do you give the pieces of clothing, pay for it and come back to pick up your quilt or do they mail it to you? ANY help would be much appreciated!

      Thanks for any help,

      1. Amish bedroom suites - Arthur, Illinois

        Gail there are many furniture businesses in Arthur area and bedroom suites are among the many things they make. There are a number of retail stores as well as Amish manufacturers in the area, and you should find bedrooms in many if not all of the retail places.

        Here is a list of furniture businesses in Arthur area, the ones listed as Amish may or may not sell retail, but the ones further down the Arthur part of the list are pretty much all retail stores around the Arthur area (Arthur, Arcola, Tuscola).

      2. Custom Quilting

        As for custom quilting, not too sure, the way things work may depend on who you’re dealing with. I’d suggest just inquiring with the people you have in mind.

    36. Jan larsen

      I Want to live to live With you peaple

      Ny english sint notere so god i sort butikken i William do Wat you Will ny Phoenix nummer is 0045 22733708
      My retarderede jan larsen

    37. Southern IL in the autumn...

      I’m thinking of making a trip to some of the Amish communities in southern IL, possibly during the peak colors of autumn. Anyone have any must-see spots? Anyone know where I can find an Amish directory that includes these settlement?

      1. Hey. I’m still interested in input, ideas — and esp. any information on an IL Amish Directory — for a trip to the southern IL Amish settlements.

        1. Linda

          Illinois Amish cities

          Don, if you look at a list of the cities in Illinois with Amish settlements, at:

          Then you can get a zip code for one of those cities, and go to

          where a store locator can help you match up bulk food stores, such as:

          Shawnee Country Store
          213 Foss Rd
          Ava, IL 62907
          618 426-9618

          Villas Country Store
          10282 E 340 Ave
          Flat Rock, IL 62427
          618 584-3164

          The stores may be able to give you leads to other businesses. However, the bulk food stores don’t seem to be very plentiful in Illinois.

          1. Thanks Linda...

            Thanks Linda. While I’d really like to find some maps from the IL Directory, you’ve given me more than I had to work with before now. 😉

    38. Paula

      I would also like info on family who serves meals to the public. Thank you

    39. Barb Zimmerman

      Thanks for Tazewell Information

      Thanks for the Tazewell information. That is where my family first settled in this country. I still don’t know if they were Amish or Mennonite when they came, but my part of the family was Apostolic Christian when they left Illinois around 1900 for northern Indiana. I think the Apostolic Christians were more Mennonite by then. The rest of my Zimmerman family is still in that region of Illinois, but I doubt any are Amish. Do you know whether the original Zimmermans were Amish?

      1. Zimmerman name among Amish?

        I don’t think so Barbara. According to this article in GAMEO the name goes back pretty far in Anabaptist Europe, even to the 17th century, but I haven’t seen anything explicitly linking the name to a member of what would be considered an Amish congregation. The oldest one mentioned is a “Swiss Mennonite” family which came to Pennsylvania in the late 1600s.

        As for today, I have never heard of any Zimmermans among the Amish unless there is some obscure case I haven’t come across. Of course as I think you know it is seen among Mennonite churches.

        1. Barb Zimmerman


          I know some Amish Zimmermans in Goshen, IN, but we’re not related. They’ve been there as long as I can remember. I also knew some Jewish Zimmermans in Muncie, but that name was not original with them. It was just the closest spelling.

          I, too, think my family was the Mennonite side. They originated in the Germany/Switzerland area.

      2. ShipshewanaIndiana

        At least as of 2012 there are no Amish Zimmermans in the Elkhart-LaGrange Old Order amish community. Here in northern Indiana, the Zimmerman family is associated with the Mennonite churches such as the Wisler mennonite community.

      3. Barb Zimmerman

        Update on Zimmerman

        Quite a bit has come out since this. My Zimmerman family came from France, after expelled from Germany, Switzerland, etc. Two brothers and at least one sister came to Tazewell County. The sister married a Roth and became the matriarch of the Roth family in Illinois. Family history shows she was Amish. The brothers’ families converted to New Amish (Apostolic Christian) soon after arrival, which is why we don’t see Amish Zimmermans. Plus, it looks like they favored the Mennonite wing.

        By the way, readers interested in tracing Amish/Mennonite roots – do a web search for the Amish/Mennonites of Tazewell County. They have a huge historical record of the settlers and descendants that is downloadable. It was just updated this May with many more results and some DNA information.

    40. dannydan

      about being hosted by an Amish family..

      Great article young man! I live in Champaign, just uP the road I57 a bit! Whom would I contact about having a family host me and my wife?
      Growing up in “little Chicago” (Champaign) I’ve been yearning to leave the rat race of our big ten university town after 50 years. As of recent, I’ve taken on a job in agriculture that takes me (about twice, three times a month) to Cadwel just southwest of the heart of Arthur about 4 miles. Thank you again for a great read.

      1. Danny

        The previous "broom corn" is defunct....

        Perhaps it worked at that time however it leads back to this page of Eriks… Here’s the Arcola Illinois broom corn festival link.

    41. dannydan

      corn broom festival

    42. Mari Elliott

      Rockome Gardens

      Is Rockome Gardens not open to the public anymore?
      The last time I was there was in the middle ’90’s’.

    43. Al in Ky

      Is the Illinois Amish Museum still at Rockome Gardens and is it
      still open? It used to be in Arcola but moved to Rockome Gardens a few years ago.

      1. Linda

        Rockome Gardens

        Al, the public Facebook for Rockome Gardens Preservation in Illinois has some answers:
        February 24 · “Rockome Gardens will be closed for the 2015 season. We will be in the process of moving two of the oldest Amish homes from the area to Rockome and starting the restoration process of these homes. Some suggestions have also been made as to some needed maintenance to the gardens, so these issues will also be addressed. Please bear with us while we are working on these processes.”

        June 6 – “The Amish Museum is also closed.”

        June 27 – “The owner has decided to retire and Rockome Gardens is for sale. There are still plans to move to the homes to Rockome and start with the restoration.”

    44. Al in Ky

      Thanks for this information, Linda. I hope the Amish Museum can find a new home. I visited it several times in Arcola and think it is a worthwhile feature of the area to help visitors learn about Amish history and life in the Arthur/Arcola area.

    45. Adam

      I’ve never known about the former settlement in Bureau County. I used to live in Kewanee, in the adjacent Henry County, and I didn’t know about it. My mom went to college in Macomb (and sometimes, I went with her, by that point, she already had four kids). I’ve not seen the Arthur community, and I’ve been to Mt. Vernon MANY times, I am sure I have seen Amish there, I just didn’t know that’s what they were. (I hope I’m reading everything wrong, it’s either really late or very early).

      1. Paula

        Adam's Question about Mt Vernon, IL

        Hello Adam, we attend a plain church east of Mt. Vernon. I don’t know if there are Amish there, but I do know here are Old Order Mennonites scattered over the area from Mt. Vernon to Fairfield, and from there going north as far as Vandalia. Conservative Mennonites (car driving) extend at least as far south and Benton and Anna, IL. We have some ex-OOMenn people in our congregation.

    46. Illinois Amish

      Hello colleagues, its wonderful paragraph regarding
      cultureand fully defined, keep it up all the time.

    47. Luis

      Looking for leather

      I read once that Amish settlements are a good place to buy leather since they tan it themselves and charge less than the popular companies do. My question is if there are any places near the chicagoland area that sell leathers? These would be for personal project at home

    48. Tamara Hari

      work on the farm

      we live in switzerland – go to an evangelical church – I myself was raised in a very conservative anabaptist church in Oregon – now my son would like to come to the states and work and live on an Amish farm in Illinois for about 2 months – do you know any families that are open to this? thank you so much
      kind regards,
      Tamara Hari

      my son is 22 – journeyman as a metalworker – swiss and american citizenship

    49. Joseph Wilhelmi


      I have a full size loom, that needs a home. It is fully functional. It was built be a master craftsman in the 1980’s, designed after his mother’s loom, that was in existence in the late 1890’s through the Great Depression. Complete with loom tools and thread.

      1. dannydan of Champaign

        Loom available..

        I have a lady friend in Philo uses looms and spins her own threads…

        Email me sir at this address,
        eiefs at yahoo dot com

        I’ll put her in touch with you!

        Best regards,

    50. Population decline in Illinois

      The Young Center has published new population figures for 2020. The overall Amish population has grown as expected, however I am astonished to see a major decline in West Virginia and Illinois.

      Illinois population shrinked by 6.5% compared to previous year to 7240. As one of the states with most fertile farmland surrounded by states with higher Amish density, I would expect a continued growth. Also a decline by one settlement and a decline in Arthur were reported, so it seems not to be a correction of previously inaccurate data. Does anyone know, what problems Amish in Illinois are facing?

      kind regards from Germany